Game Buzz: Knit Wit

Today, I’m going to take a look at a game in the apparently trendy theme of crafting:

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Knit Wit is a new game from designer Matt Leacock that is being published by Z-Man Games.  It’s for 2-8 players and takes around 15 minutes to play.  The idea is that it’s a word game along the lines of Scattergories, but with spools and string.

This game interests me for two major reasons:

  1. Uwe Rosenberg seems to have opened the door for more craft-based games with Patchwork.  I’m curious to see where this genre goes from here.
  2. This is Matt Leacock’s first non-cooperative game since Roll Through the Ages in 2008.  Very interested to see how that goes.

Knit Wit comes with 8 loops, 114 word tags, 1 Shuffle tag, 8 clothespins, 8 coloring pencils, 4 bonus buttons, 8 numbered spools, and a pad of answer sheets.  Each player gets 1-3 loops and spools (depending on the number of players), as well as an answer sheet and a pencil.  The numbers of spools not being used are crossed off on the answer sheets, and the player with the lowest numbered spool starts.

image by BGG user SimonF2Z
image by BGG user SimonF2Z

There are three phases in a game: Knit, Answer, and Score.

In the KNIT phase, players will take turns following these three steps:

  1. Place a Loop – Take one of your loops and place it on the table.  It must enclose exactly one spool.  The only exception is the first turn because there is no spool on the table.
  2. Place a Word – Draw a word tag and place it in the clothespin attached to the loop you just placed.
  3. Place a Spool – Put a spool inside any unoccupied region of the design, i.e. a fully surrounded spot where there is no spool.

Once all players have placed all of their spools, the design is complete and you move on to the ANSWER phase.  The first player says “Go!” and everyone gets to work coming up with an answer for each spool.  What you’ve basically created is a big Venn diagram with each loop representing a different word, and the overlaps containing the commonalities between each word.  Here is an example of a Venn diagram:

image from redbubble.com
image from redbubble.com

Here, you can seek that zombies and robots share no emotions, robots and aliens share advanced technology, aliens and zombies share a taste for flesh, and all three share a desire for death to humans.

So what you’re trying to do is find a common word, name, or phrase that fits all the words represented by the loops surrounding each spool.  You’ll write these on your answer sheet.  When you’re done, you can take the top bonus button and drop your pencil.  When the last bonus button is taken, everyone has to stop answering (in a two-player game, the other player can come up with one more answer before stopping).

Now it’s time for the SCORE phase.  Take turns announcing your answers.  If you answer the same thing as someone else, your answers cancel each other out – only unique answers count.  If you think someone gave a terrible answer to a question, you can challenge it by yelling “KNIT WIT!”  That person must give a ten-second defense of their word, then everyone votes on whether is counts.  You then total your score – every valid answer is worth as many points as the number of loops surrounding it.  You also get points if you got a bonus button (worth 1-4 points).  The player with the most points is the winner.

image by BGG user SimonF2Z
image by BGG user SimonF2Z

The game’s not coming out until March, so all I’ve got for you are some initial impressions from the rules.  I’m not usually one for party games, but I have to say that this one looks really unique.  I mean, just the look of it is unique.  Gameplay does seem like Scattergories, but a lot more interesting.  I like the Venn diagram aspect – I don’t know of any other games that do that.  In fact, Matt Leacock has said that the original prototype was called “Venntangled”, so that has always been an aspect of the game.  I’m not sure how competitive the game will be, but I’m not sure that’s the point.  Also, it seems like the first player will get hosed in a 5-8 player game since everyone will only get one spool and one loop, meaning everyone only gets one turn.  It seems quick enough, however, that you could probably play several rounds in a row.  In any case, I think this will make a really good bait game – attractive enough to bring people to the table, and different enough to make them stay.  It’s one I’m looking forward to seeing when it comes out.  Thanks for reading!

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